Helicobacter and Arcobacter Species: Risks for Foods and Beverages

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Taxonomically, the RNA Superfamily VI includes the genera Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Areobacter. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the major causes of acute enteritis in humans. Helicobacter pylori causes human ulcers and has been linked to cancer. Helicobacter pylori has been detected in water, but in no other food. Although antibody titers were elevated in abattoir workers exposed to hog carcasses, there have been no recoveries of H. pylori from swine or other livestock. The genus Arcobacter was proposed in 1991 to include aerotolerant campylobacter-like organisms recovered from cases of livestock abortion and human enteritis. Arcobacter spp. have been cultured from water, cattle, swine, poultry, and from ground pork products. The evidence for considering Helicobacter spp. and Arcobacter spp., especially A. butzleri, as emerging foodborne pathogens and their risk of transmission in foods and beverages is reviewed. The risk of transmission to humans of H. pylori and A. butzleri via properly cooked foods and chlorinated water is negligible.


Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Enteric Diseases and Food Safety Research, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1996

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